Taking care of business

When I left my last job, my coworkers got me a Mystery Writer’s Kit from Writers for Pete’s Sake, a writing group based out of Washington, as a going away gift. It’s a purse-like bag chock full of pockets, paper, brochures, mystery writing tips, charts, pens and other such writer-y things. It’s a beautiful bag–insanely soft–on its own, and the pockets will surely be put to good use someday as purse divisions, but the jewel of this bag for me has been a burger-shaped timer. It came in a majestic looking red bag all on its own, the kind you’d use for D20s carved from diamonds (another use that would be awesome to claim someday), and it is absolutely fantastic. I mean, it’s not like a magical time traveling timer. The technology is standard, up-to-an-hour timer tech aside from the shape, but I’ve noticed that using it is really helpful. I set it for twenty minutes at a time, adding extra twenty minute intervals as I go, and just keep resetting it until I’m done. I know it might sound silly to use for something I love, but honestly, I’m connected to the internet almost all of the time to play my music (another necessity), and sometimes the lure of hopping on Facebook or checking email really quick or even gazing blankly out my window can be pretty strong. Not to mention the more fruitful lures of stopping to craft, clean some random thing in the room, or read.

Using a timer helps me overcome those distractions. When I set that timer I am dedicating my time to my craft, something I’m audibly reminded of every time it ticks. It keeps me focused on what I need to do. Additionally, it helps get me mentally prepared before I start. All the little things like bathroom breaks, snacks, drinks or location have to be already addressed. My room must already be clean, my music set. Working with a timer has opened my eyes to what some of those smaller, less obvious distractions are, as well as ways to get them out of the way.

The burger has also been helpful in making me more consistent. One of the tips included in the kit talked about not worrying too much about quantity or quality during the time, but just to write what you can. It helps on those days when I’m not feeling super inspired, feel stuck, or for whatever reason am just more distracted. And, seeing as it usually takes me at least five to ten minutes to get into what I’m writing just from orienting myself back to that mental space, sitting down and making myself write for those first few minutes is usually all I need to get some solid work done.

So, what do you use to keep on track? Doesn’t have to be writing. Any discipline will do.

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Back in the saddle

Hello Darlings,

I have about a zillion and a half things to tell you. I will try to keep it brief, so I’ll just give you a couple of small updates on things I’ve mentioned before and then maybe when my thoughts are more congealed in my brain I can talk about some of the things I’ve learned.

First of all, thank you to all of you who have been thinking of, praying for, and/or sending good vibes to me as I’ve been working through my anxiety struggles. I had a major breakthrough on Monday and am now standing in victory.

Secondly, I am almost done with Cog’s horns on the cross-stitch pattern. I will be finishing that today as well as starting the next piece (Rick’s arm, I think), so yay on progress. Also yay on having the sense to stop when I did last night because cross-stitching for hours in the light that I did really did oogy things to my eyeballs and I really don’t want to go blind.

Now, on to the meat of this post.

As many of you know, the past few months have been a rough patch for me. I felt for a while like I lost a lot of the things that make me who I am, and without them I felt like I didn’t know who I was or was supposed to be or what on Earth I should do. About anything. I often felt paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing or being the wrong person or all other kinds of some such nonsense.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot. Or, to put it more truthfully, I’ve re-learned or learned to live by things I already knew. I might talk about some of them in another post someday (actions vs. intentions, relationship vs. tasks, true humility, true identity, etc.) but they are not the main point of this post.

The main point is this:

I’m done being timid. Bring it on, world.

This realization has been slowly building in me, finally bursting into life in a confusing explosion of emotion not unlike when Giselle realizes she’s angry at Robert in the incredibly adorable movie Enchanted. Except instead of a handsome soulmate, Robert is a bunch of preposterous, mostly untrue and crippling things I’ve let myself think or feel and Giselle is normal me, only more pretty and adorable.

Angry Giselle
Mmkay, so I kind of want to be her. I feel this is not weird.

It’s like I finally got fed up with all of these lies I’d been telling myself. I let myself feel so wretched and let myself think I couldn’t do even simple tasks. I let telling others how I feel and setting simple boundaries seem like a giant mountain to climb and let looking at jobs be overly depressing because every listing had at least one thing I didn’t already know how to do. I let myself feel under-qualified for all of them, as if not already having all of the skills needed meant there was no chance I could be a capable employee.

Worse still, almost hilariously so, I started blaming the good things in my life for my inability to do other things. I have been incredibly blessed with many, many things. I can write really well, I can sing nicely, I am a good dancer. I am to varying degrees funny, intelligent, quirky, nerdy, charming, witty, creative and pretty. Outside of personal traits, nobody super close to me has ever died, I have a wonderful home, a loving family, amazing friends, plenty of books, an education and up until recently have always been consistently employed, for long stretches of time at each job, too. Life for me has been, all considered, very, very easy.

And I started blaming some of my blessings for my problems. I was still grateful for them, but it was like I was angry for being so lucky. I ran into problems and moaned, “GEEZ. If I hadn’t been so ridiculously blessed all my life these probably wouldn’t even BE problems.” As if my always having been employed had cursed me with an inability to get a job on my own once they stopped falling into my lap (which is not really an accurate description anyway). As if my never having had a major life crisis before now had made me woefully inadequate to endure a life crisis now (when again, really, this is not even a crisis). I mean, sure, I didn’t view it in exactly those terms at the time, but looking back, that is essentially what the thought process was. What an absolutely ridiculous way to think.

With that mentality slinking into place, it was only a matter of time before inner Giselle went off. I was not raised in a family where self-pity is acceptable. Thinking the way I was did and still does seem disgraceful to me. Am I under grace for those times when I am weak or struggle or get twisted up inside? Yes. Can I forgive myself for thinking that way for a time like I did? Yes. Does that mean it can continue? No, no, nope, no, no, no, no. I am blessed. I am a capable human being. The blessings I have are not some kind of life-atrophying shield meant to soften me up for hard blows, they are people, experiences, objects, values, skills and knowledge meant to build me up and help support me as I face the blows that come up (as well as all of the wonderful things that they do and bring to my life, because there is a LOT of that).

I am tired of being anxious or thinking I can’t do things or that I’m not good enough. 2 Timothy 1:7 says we have not been given a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am ready to stop being timid and be bold. To do things that are scary or intimidating because they are worth it and I am not alone and I can do them.

So here’s to more writing. To more dancing and singing, reading, boundary setting and the leaping of obstacles. I’m ready to learn more things, to reclaim gifts that were slipping away, to do things that challenge me and to grow because it’s fun. All this time I’ve been thinking this is a great chance to be excited. Well, here I go, and I AM EXCITED.

Truth in storytelling and cross-stitching

A one-two punch post:

Truth in Storytelling

So, to me, storytelling is in everything. Our lives are stories. Dancing, cooking, painting, legoes, books, houses, work: all storytelling. The very universe we live in is part of the greatest story that has ever been told, really, I suppose, the only story, the  story.

My goal in life then is to make sure that my part of it, my chapter I suppose, or more realisitically, paragraph, sentence or even single little word, is a good one. As I write and grow and live, I’ve had to think about what exactly that means. Why do we write or tell stories at all and why, more specifically, do we write the ones we do? After a great deal of consideration, I’ve come up with these thoughts.

  1. All writing teaches.
  2. All writing should reveal truth.

Technically speaking, I think all writing does reveal truth, in a way, though not necessarily in the way I mean when I say that. So to avoid any misunderstanding, let’s unpack these a little. Oh, and for this post, I am going to use writing and storytelling somewhat interchangeably as I believe this applies to storytelling in general, but am trying to apply it specifically to my own writing.

All Writing Teaches

If you’re reading the label on a can of beans, you’re learning something. If you’re reading a letter or memoir or book, you’re learning. It doesn’t have to be an instructional book necessarily. Maybe all you’re learning is the story itself. Regardless, I think every time you read something (or hear or see it in the case of plays, movies, audiobooks, podcasts, etc.), you are learning something. I suppose this is true of every time you use your senses in any way, but seeing as I view cooking or metal working or anything else you do as a form of storytelling as well, that rather makes sense. Regardless, sticking to the point, storytelling teaches.

All Writing Should Reveal Truth

If you’re reading the label on a can of beans, and it says carrots, but you know for a fact that there are beans inside, you’re learning that the label is wrong. Either it’s the wrong label or the person who wrote it wanted to deceive you or they themselves earnestly thought there were carrots inside and were simply mistaken. Regardless of that or any other some such happenstance, you’ve learned something. In the same way, I think storytelling is meant to reveal truth. It may be hidden behind an unreliable narrator or because I’m trying to sneak a reveal up on you or because honestly, I as a human am an unreliable narrator myself, but at its core, I think that storytelling is meant to show things that are true.

This has honestly been a bit of a struggle for me because for a long time I always wanted my writing to have some deep, profound message or question you found or asked at the end, a big truth, as it were or at least something that made you want to look for one. I wanted something big, was afraid of telling untruths, and didn’t respect little truths as much as I should.

I struggled with it in reading too. It has taken me a long, long time to get into short stories, both as a reader and as writer, and part of that was because there were so many stories that didn’t seem to have a meaning. There was no big question, there was no big moral, and often times, they were just about something that happened to somebody on a slightly beyond normal day. Reading stories outside of my genres of choice (sci-fi, young adult, fantasy) in particular were difficult for me. Why should I care what little thing happened to Joe Schmoe on October 22nd, 1982? Why should these things matter?

But that’s the beauty of storytelling, as well as the teller’s burden. You see, when that author writes that story about Joe Schmoe, there’s an opportunity, and I believe responsibility, for that author to speak truth. When I write about Rick or Cog or anyone else in my books, I’m their window. They live in me and if I do not represent them and their world accurately to the best of my ability, in their actions, in describing their world, in everything else, the best my readers will get is a skewed understanding, a portrait of wax that’s been left out in the sun. My characters (well, everyone really, fiction or no) have something to share, a story to tell, and in the case of those under my literary care, I am the only voice by which their message can reach the world. People are always so terrified of being forgotten on this planet. They don’t want to be put down as a traitor when they were a martyr, don’t want to be lost to memory by the time their grandkids are 10. For us, as people, that’s often why we do what we do, why we strive for success and fame and fortune and network and speak and connect. It’s often why we tell the stories we do, because we don’t want our chapter, paragraph, sentence, word to be forgotten or missed. We want it to be a good one. This gets tricky of course based on your understanding of “good” but that’s rather a different post and, honestly, a core part of what stories you’ll tell anyway.

Anyway, for the author, painter, or storyteller of any kind working in fiction, this idea is what makes our responsibility so grave (and exciting). Because when a character lives in you, you are the only window. The only way for their word to be told. There are no other viewers, stats, research or anything  else to inform your reader (fan-fic aside, but that of course can only come afterwards of course). It’s just you telling the world what you know, sharing those people the best you can. That’s what makes editing, practicing and so on important, because you are trying to tell the truth. Even if Rick and Cog live nowhere else besides inside me, that doesn’t mean that I am not responsible to them–and my reader–(if anything I am therefore more responsible) to represent them as accurately and truthfully as I can. Even if that means representing them through the skewed understanding of Rick’s point of view for the sake of revealing the truth of how Rick thinks. That’s what validates the unreliable narrator.

This idea of truth in storytelling extends not to just telling the truth about characters, but to speaking truths in general. This train of thought first developed in me during my AP Comp class in high school–one of if not the best class I have ever taken, while reading The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which I highly, highly, highly recommend (fair warning, there is some graphic, gruesome stuff in it, given its subject matter, the Vietnam war). In his story (chapter?) titled “How to Tell a True War Story” there is one line in particular that has always stuck with me. “A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.”1 Honestly that story, besides that line, has been one of the most impactful things I’ve ever read, and though I don’t believe I’m in a place to speak much on the subject of war myself, I do think the idea holds true in what I do know and write about. It’s the same reason we tell parables, fables and fairy tales or the same reason we use symbolism. It’s why classics become classics. Because even if our firemen don’t burn books and there isn’t a magical land inside our closet, we can recognize truth in the pages. This is why I write. To tell those truths through my life and through the lives and discoveries of those inside me.

It is a tricky thing, because you have to remember that a truth that is significant or even trivial to Joe Schmoe on October 22nd, 1982 is just as important to him and the world as the revelation of love to Rochester or the tragedy of the Invisible Man, and in the quest to tell a larger truth you can’t neglect smaller ones. Life is not made always in great, singing leaps after all, but often in tiny, trembling steps, and both are to be equally lauded if the heart behind them is right. By the same token small truths must often be used to lead us to great ones, like a child taking those first shaky steps or a baby first learning to eat. I hope someday my own work may whet those same appetites, even to lead others to feasts.

Now, I could talk about this for hours, but seeing as this post is getting lengthy and I still want to talk about a lighter subject, I’ll end here with a simple encouragement to ask questions or leave comments if you want to talk more. I am more than happy to do so. Thanks for reading this far. Can’t wait to see you (be read by you?) on the other side of the next subtitle!

1 O’Brien, Tim. “How to Tell a True War Story.” The Things They Carried. London: Flamingo, 1991. 83. Print.

Cross-Stitching

I’ve started a giant project to cross-stitch Rick and Cog together with some lyrics from “Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes, a song I often refer to somewhat jokingly as the Cog Song and regardless of any connection is fantastic. I’ve already learned a lot from this project about pattern making and cross-stitching in general, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that cross-stitching takes a long, long time. I started by hand-drawing the pattern as a sketch, and then uploaded it to pic 2 pat, a site where you can upload photos, tell them the size you want and the thread you want to use and then pick from generated patterns they supply, all for free, which is really nice. I made things a little hard on myself because when I scanned my image in, I ended up uploading it in black and white, which of course came back as gray-scale patterns which were really hard to tell apart when choosing. I ended up printing it off and then having to go back in and trace square by square which squares I actually wanted in black, ignoring the ones in lighter shades of gray and white. From there I decided to transcribe the whole pattern over to graph paper generated by PrintFreeGraphPaper.com because the indicator for a white stitch on the pic 2 pat pattern I’d chosen was a black square (because white was the most common color used and a black square the most prominent indicator, not because they’d intended to invert the image). Once all that was done some many hours later, I had to get the materials I needed, which were all fairly cheap and could be found at any craft store (the needle threader is pretty much indispensable in my opinion), find the exact center of my pattern and start from there in the middle of my fabric (to keep it centered), which was somewhat difficult because I’d ended up transcribing it over in such a way that the white around the edges was not even. Since then I’ve been working for probably an hour a day at least on it and have gotten as far as you can see below, which is the majority of Cog’s horns.

140121-130154

It’s only about four and a half inches tall right now, so yeah, still pretty small, but I was pretty ambitious in choosing a pattern that’s going to be about 20″ x 14″ when finished, so I only have myself to blame.

The really cool thing I wanted to point out about this though is how fascinating it is to do a slightly more 3D pattern of characters from my book. I draw OCs (original characters) a lot when I draw, but that’s just two dimensional and as cool as it is to see them come alive on the page, there’s still that barrier between us. This is a very different experience because for one thing the time it’s taking makes it all the more satisfying when I see the results and because when I’m done, I’ll have something that I can feel. If I run fingers over a drawing, the best I’ll do is feel paper and hopefully not smudge the pencil everywhere. With this, I can feel little bumps and textures, and even though I’m sure Cog’s horns don’t feel like embroidery floss, nor his fur or Rick’s shirt or skin or hair, it’s still cool to be able to trace the contours where the horns connect and know that I’ve been slowly molding and sculpting that. It has a certain craftsmanship about it that I adore and, though time consuming, it is super relaxing. Definitely a nice thing to do while watching a movie or resting to music.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Bye everyone! Thanks for reading!

Can I get a witness?

Hey all,

Let’s talk about being Christian witnesses through the lens of what witnesses do.

Ideally speaking, witnesses:

  1. See something happen
  2. Change their lives based on what they see
  3. Are questioned about it
  4. Tell others honestly about it
  5. Are scrutinized for honesty and caught if they lie
  6. May still be unreliable
  7. Are not the jury
  8. Are not the judge
  9. Are not the executioner

I think it’s really easy for us as Christians generally (and certainly specifically for myself) to think that somehow we need to do a lot more than we’re actually called to do. I have many times put more responsibility on my shoulders than God ever wanted me to have, thinking if I don’t do this or that or if I screw up someone is going to Hell or I’m not doing enough or something along those lines. I feel like this is truly not God’s intention for us. We are called as witnesses, so let’s dive real quick into some of what I think that means. If you disagree or think I’m missing something, please let me know! Let’s make this a discussion!

We see something happen

If God moves in our lives, it’s our job to witness it. This means being aware and sensitive to noticing when His presence is with us, when He steps in to rescue or protect us (even from if not especially from ourselves!), when He blesses or provides for us, when He disciplines us, when He gives us peace or comfort, and certainly when He speaks to us. God is everywhere all the time. We cannot go a day without seeing something His hand has touched (Romans 1:20). So witness it! It doesn’t have to be some big profound experience. It could be as simple as snowflakes or a phone call from a friend.

We change our lives based on what we see

Someone who has witnessed a robbery may be more likely to take a course in self defense or not walk alone at night. Someone who witnesses a random act of kindness may hold open a door for the next person they see when normally they wouldn’t wait. It changes the way they see the world and therefore, usually, in some way, their behavior. Likewise, when we see God move in our lives, it changes the way that we live (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 John 3:2). It broadens our understanding of the world around us, of Him and of ourselves, and naturally will change our daily behaviors. I know this is true because I used to be a misanthropic cynic who was mean and cutting to other people, thought there was something innately wrong or broken about me as a human being and despaired of being alone, and am now a radically changed person through my relationship with Christ, who taught me to love and delight in others, to show kindness in my words and actions and to know that no matter where I am, I am never alone. And it doesn’t have to happen overnight or in some big blast of understanding, as someone who is sheltered from harm until a robbery might be changed, but may come through small day by day changes as a child shown daily the manners of their parents may one day learn to say please and thank you of their own accord.

We are questioned about it

When people know we’ve seen something important and/or when they see the way our lives change, they will notice. It’s the same as in a police case. Eventually, if you’re not trying to hide what you know (or even if you are, perhaps!), they’ll ask.

We tell others the truth

When the opportunity arises, we can tell about what we saw. This could be in a response to a direct question, as is the case when a witness is being examined in court, or it could be just a conversational topic, like when somebody sees a rainbow and points it out to a friend or when you tell a funny story about something you once did. It’s not something we have to force down people’s throats. We’re not called to dominate or derail conversations (1 Peter 3:15-16), nor are witnesses ignored if they have something to share. It’s just something natural that comes out of being a witness.

We are scrutinized for honesty and caught if we lie

Witnesses are authorities on what they’ve seen. That’s why they’re asked the questions. But if a witness says they saw somebody mugged in a dark alley and later shows no concern walking down that same alley alone at night, people are going to suspect that something is wrong. Either that person did not see what they said (no mugger at all), are pretending to be something they are not (perhaps they themselves are the mugger), are faking something for ulterior motives (bravery for the sake of impressing others) or are very, very foolish. In any of these cases, the others around them are not likely to believe them very much on that original matter or in future, or at the very least not as much as if that person had truly changed their behavior based on what they saw. The same applies to us as Christians. If we say God is love and that we are in relationship with Him and yet are not loving, what does that say? If we say God promises peace, but live in constant fear or anxiety, what reason do others have to believe that what we’re saying is true? In many ways other people are like the jury, trying to find truth in what we say and do. If our lives don’t line up with what we’re saying, what reason do they have to believe us? Especially when there is another “attorney” working against us who is trying all the time to dissuade us from telling the truth and to prove that we are unreliable and false?

We may still be unreliable

Despite being authorities on what they see, a well-intentioned witness may still be wrong from time to time. They may think there was only one mugger when there were in fact two because a dumpster blocked their way. They may think someone was the mugger because they missed a distinguishing feature or were led astray be leading questions. I’m not saying this as an excuse for people to get away with being inaccurate witnesses in real life or in this analogy to Christianity, I’m just saying that humans are limited. There’s no way to see or know everything there is to know, which is actually pretty relieving when you think about what that means. Regardless, the point is that even the best witness is going to stumble sometimes. Even the best Christian is not going to live out a completely Godly life. In the same way as we are to have grace for a witness who couldn’t see properly in the middle of the night, we need to have grace to know that Christians can’t always see clearly in the middle of their night either. They have histories and baggage that can color their understanding of different situations. They have corners they can’t see around because they haven’t quite reached the step to turn. They have the same kind of problems that a regular witness can, because they’re human. That’s what humans do. The trick is to right that wrong when we realize the truth, accept the grace offered us for it, and be sure to offer that same grace to others when the same happens to them. To be the most honest witnesses we can be in our limited understanding and hope that God steps in to broaden our understanding to reveal the places where we’ve unwittingly slipped up or to discipline and correct us in the places where we’ve done so on purpose, changing our hearts so that we will not continue in that line.

We are not the jury

Witnesses already know the truth. The jury is there to see if they tell it honestly and after that they decide for themselves. Likewise we know the truth of what God is doing in our lives. We can tell others about it, but it is not our place to decide for them whether or not they believe us.

We are not the judge

Witnesses don’t make final calls on the sentences of prisoners. God knows more than we could ever know about a situation. It’s his place to make the calls and for us just to witness. Tell what you know and trust Him to reveal the rest, including what could be (and probably is, there is always something we don’t know!) missing from your own perspective.

We are not the executioner

Proverbs 20:22, Proverbs 25:22. The witness is not the warden of the prison or the prison guard, ensuring the prisoner stays inside his cell. They are not the one ensuring they complete their community service. They are not the one who would serve as executioner. The same goes for us. I’m not saying God is bloodthirsty or can’t wait to punish people or enslave them or anything like that. He is in fact the complete opposite. What I mean is if someone hurts you, don’t avenge yourself. Turn the other cheek. Pray for them (Matthew 5:43-44). Hope that the way you react shows them God’s love so that they as a jury member themselves may see truth. God knows the situation. He weeps and grieves for your pain and loss and suffering far more than you ever could. And equally, for theirs. This is one of those situations where this analogy kind of falls through, because our human justice systems are not and could never be as perfect as God’s. See, God is perfect. He is perfectly loving of all of his creations, but He is also equally perfectly just. And that means he can’t abide sin and evil going unpunished. He can’t even abide such evils in his presence (see pretty much the entire struggle of the Old Testament). In this we are all on an equal playing field, having all, jury member, witness and prisoner, fallen short of those perfect standards and all therefore being guilty before God and worthy of death, Romans 6:23.  That is why he sent his Son Jesus to die for us. So that his blood could pay the sentence on our heads and save us from damnation and punishment. That is also why it is equally important for us, as witnesses who have already been saved in our own court date by that same blood, not to try to play parts in others lives that we weren’t meant to play. By playing judge and executioner, we undermine God’s love and plan for others. Our limitations mean we often don’t see the situation correctly and never fully, our pride in placing ourselves in God’s place grieves him and harms others and our hypocrisy turns others away. We are witnesses. Let’s just focus on that.

Anyway, now that the main bulk of this post is over, I’d just like to throw in a few little comments and such so that there isn’t confusion (or at least a little less).

  1. I am sorry that this analogy is not always the most clear thing. I do not know the intricacies of the court for one thing, which makes this kind of thing difficult, and again, as I said, our human courts are not the same as God’s. Trying to act as though ours are a complete and honest model of His would be a foolish mistake because obviously even the highest level members of our court systems here are limited humans. I also understand that much of this is based on what would be an ideal version of our current court system. I know not all judges, jury members, attorneys, and witnesses are honest. I know that sometimes witnesses could be ignored despite having something important to say. I get all that. This analogy is based on a kind of ideal.
  2. I know I didn’t have specific verses for all of these, but I did try to base everything on what I have found to be biblical truths or truths I have found in my own life (or my understandings of them, as an unreliable witness myself). Some of the reason I don’t have specifics is because the point was too broad and my knowledge of where things are in the Bible too small. Some was because this is a very, very long post and I’m very tired from the writing of it and because this is a blog post and not an actual sermon or some combination of all of the above. But, if you know any verses that back this up specifically (or refute it! Please correct me if this is wrong!!!), please feel free to add it in the comments and I’ll edit the post and give you a shout out. Even general stories (parables or stories about hypocrisy being a prime example) and references would be adored. I know not everyone who reads this will have the same Biblical knowledge I do and certainly that many will have much much more, so I want to have as much Biblical backup as I can get, firstly because it is important to me to show that there are Biblical roots to what I believe and say, secondly to encourage others to look this stuff up themselves and thirdly for me to have guidance as I write, knowing that left to my own devices I can easily get things wrong for any number of reasons. I am also certain the Bible can reveal more truth in reading than any post of mine, so if you have questions about this and want to know what the Bible really says about it, please read it and find out for yourselves! And once you know, come back to me! I’d love to hear what you find.
  3. I know there’s a balance in finding when to speak and when to not and how we witness and what that means as pertains to our job choices, ministries and such. I know there’s a balance to be found when deciding how much we say and how we say it and when to take initiative and when to rest in the Lord and the balance between all of the roles above. I am trying daily myself to find that balance and it is something that’s really been a focus for me lately, so be aware I really don’t have the answers myself, even that those answers may be different for each person. I tried my best to avoid coming across as either taking too much or too little into our hands and to speak somewhat generally, but if you have thoughts, advice, arguments, questions, comments, etc. on the matter, please let me know.
  4. If you’re looking for general verses about witnessing and being called to be a witness and such, I found this helpful page here which has many of that sort in one convenient place.
  5. Thank you so, so much for making it this far! I am so blessed to have you as a reader and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. I will do my best to answer them in the comments below!